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Annual New Years Day Row, not according to plan

2 Jan 2017 3:38 PM | Anonymous member

The best laid plans of mice (and rowers), often go awry (sorry Mr. Burns for the mangling).

Our annual New Years Day row, was beautifully planned; crew up on the beach, row out to the bell and take selfies, maybe luck out and row with some harbour porpoise, and then gather for camaraderie and pot-luck to exchange smugness on starting the year off right.

The last day of 2016 was still, flat water, not a breath of a wind. It was our water,  rowers water, but a day early.  And clouds heavy with snow for New Years Eve. Rowers water and fresh snow will make for a beautiful start to the year, right?

The ocean canoes are built for waves, but got “rowers water” instead on the last paddling day of 2016. They got “our” water, and we got theirs!

The first day of 2017 was sunny and bright, but cold. A good sign. No need to check the forecast, it’s always nice water in the winter, right?

We navigated the fresh snow and ice en route to JERICHO. When we pulled into the parking lot, we saw the clubhouse windsock. Horizontal. ” Maybe it’s not windy, maybe the sock is frozen into that position” I thought, hopefully. Hoping for freezing temperatures rather than wind and waves is the sign of an optimistic rower, unwilling to allow plans to go awry. Not a good sign. But we were undaunted. The skate from the car had us all concentrating on staying upright, and not polishing the ice with any bruised body parts. I was wondering how to get any ice off the boats, and if the boat Dolly’s were under snow, and if the oar locks would be sticky. This will be interesting, I thought.

Then we saw the water. The roiling, boiling, smashing water breaking on the beach. And the sheet of ice that was the launch ramp.  So now the challenge was in actually getting the boats down to the beach, without breaking anything that we cared about. (Boat and bum equally valued).  And then of course there would be the challenge of launching into 3ft waves. Oh, and then the rowing against a steady 17 kt breeze, gusting to 20kts and freezing the windsock.

A steady 17 kts breeze and 3ft chop, kept the Salish Sea rowers warm, dry and ashore today.

Rowers are generally optimistic creatures, we see “challenges”, not impossibilities, and “fun”, not hazards. We have a coastal rowing club so that we have bigger boats for bigger waves. But today, we didn’t launch. We drained our thermos’, remained hopeful for better water in the days ahead, and when a crewmate suggested brunch, we navigated to a warm kitchen. Where we of course, talked about rowing. Happy New Year everyone.

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